In recent years, investors have argued that “responsible investment” allows investors to maximise the financial and social benefits of their activities, and, simultaneously, to mitigate the negative impacts of their investments. As yet, however, little has been written – in either the practitioner or in the academic literature – about the responsibilities of investors in emerging markets, about the practicalities of implementing responsible investment in emerging markets, or about the outcomes (financial and social) that result.
This special issue of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship, edited by Rory Sullivan and Daphne Bilouri, addresses this gap in the literature by presenting a series of major articles that analyse the implications – for investors and for society – of investors seeking to take a more responsible approach to their investments.
The contributors offer practical suggestions on the role that investors can play. They also caution that investors are only one of many important actors and that the debate around the contribution that responsible investment can make should not undermine the critical role of national, regional and local governments in creating the conditions for foreign investment to make a real contribution to improving the lives of the citizens of these countries.
Dr Sullivan says: “The articles highlight the importance of investors paying attention to core governance issues such as accounting, ownership structures, and investors’ rights. They also show how active, engaged investors can improve companies’ management of health, safety, environmental and community impacts, thereby creating real long-term value for the companies and for wider society.
“The journal also opens up wider questions around the implications of foreign investment for the stability of emerging markets. As we reflect on the causes and consequences of the global financial crisis, we need to be aware that the inflows of foreign investment into emerging markets may have the perverse effect of increasing their vulnerability to future financial shocks.”
The Journal of Corporate Citizenship (JCC) is a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that focuses explicitly on integrating theory about corporate citizenship with management practice. The journal provides a forum in which the tensions and practical realities of making corporate citizenship real are addressed in a reader-friendly, yet conceptually and empirically rigorous format. For more information on JCC please visit our website.
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